Here's how to pull it off:. I'd be curious to learn about how my readers have responded to a difficult person. Leave a comment, or hit me up on Twitter to continue the discussion. Develop Your Self-awareness.
Maintain comfortable eye contact. In other words, don't "give him the eye. Pay attention to non-verbal signals as a way of reading the person's feeling state. Use an "I" statement of feeling. Ex: "I feel this like decision violates our trust. Without a request, you're merely describing your feelings--and that's a good start, but if you want things to change, you'll probably need to provide a little guidance. Ex: "I'm requesting that from now on you hold your comments until the end of the meeting.
Focus on difficult person's behavior and never make it about the person. Give specific examples that you can back up. Feedback should always be focused on win-win. Get agreement about a plan of action, and commitment on both your parts to follow through. Like this column?
Participant repeatedly starts a discussion with other participants sitting next to her whenever the Instructor moves to the other side of the room. It is obvious that her comments are negative and disruptive to the Instructor and the lecture. Utilize friendly eye contact. Use proximity control. Involve the person in an active way.
Speak privately with the person at break. Privately offer the person a choice to stop the disruption and remain in the training, or leave if she is unable to pay attention. On rare occasions, you may have a participant who continues to present noncompliant or disruptive behavior. Do not try to force a person to participate. If the behavior continues to disrupt the training for others, you may need to privately and discreetly point out that the behavior is contrary to the philosophy being promoted in the course.
These occurrences should be documented.
Action taken should be within the policies and procedures of your organization. Set limits that are simple and clear, reasonable and enforceable. Just as we teach in the course, refusal often prompts the beginning of a power struggle. Simply set limits as you would with anyone else in this situation. Allow venting.
Remind participant of Due Care guidelines. Ask for additional assistance. Take all threats seriously. Discuss the comments privately. If safe, respectfully direct the participant to leave.
Did you not let them know early on that something was bothering you? Show more. Clear communication with the student helps to set expectations and prevent further disruption. If a student is challenging you, try waiting silently for about 10 seconds and see if the student doesn't give up. As stated previously, most misbehaviors serve a getting or an avoiding function. Visualize yourself somewhere relaxing to maintain the appearance of calm, and use conversational "diffusers," which are short phrases such as "I hear you," "Thanks for sharing," or "Nevertheless. Make sure your plan is clear and students are fully aware of the consequences for not following it.
Intimidation is dangerous. Again, stay as calm and in control of yourself as you can. Make sure you, and the rest of the class, are safe. This commitment needs to be evident even when behavior becomes challenging within the training environment. More Resources: Read more about workplace violence.
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Mark article as Complete. Show Ratings Hide Ratings. Rate this resource. Free Workbook Offer! Find Out More. Comments 9 Over a month ago Michele wrote.
Hi, Thank you for the feedback on the article. With so much attention placed on sexual harassment in the media, it is important that all workplaces have sexual harassment policies in place, educate employees on how to recognize it, teach employees how to address it with their colleagues and to report incidents when they occur. Mind Tools does have articles available that deal with harassment and bullying.
Michele Mind Tools Team.
Over a month ago wrote. Excellent article which I have passed along to colleagues. I think it would be timely if the MindTools team could address harassment in the workplace in a similar article. I am male.
I have been witness to frequent comments made by mostly male co-workers that are insidious rather than blatant, but are still suggestive or disrespectful. The subtle nuances of sexual harassment can be very detrimental to a work environment where mutual respect is the norm, but it can be difficult to address.
This is especially true when the witness is a third party who may understand better where the boundaries are than the target of the harassment does. How is a co-worker supposed to intervene, or should they?